Grassy area almost complete as campus beautification continues

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The Whitehead building’s rubble and dust has cleared, giving way to a lawn that will open up additional space and leisure room for Dixie State College students.

Restoration of the area where the Whitehead used to stand is one of many projects that have taken place as DSC closes in on university status.

Sherry Ruesch, executive director of campus services, said despite a few changes in plans that included scrapping ideas to put rock beds and keeping asphalt in the area, the field is nearly ready for student use.

“We’re 100 percent complete with everything that was part of the construction project; the state funded putting landscape back to original form,” Ruesch said.

The reconstructed space now features a large lawn area, a slope and an additional staircase. Julio Rodriguez, a sophomore business major from Las Vegas, said the finished product is basic but gives the campus a cleaner, more appealing look that will present more possibilities.

“I’m glad we don’t have an abandoned building anymore,” Rodriguez said.

Adding more space by demolishing the Whitehead not only makes campus look more scenic, but also gives students, clubs and organizations another place to take activities. Ruesch said after the finishing touches are completed, students will be able to enjoy the grass during gatherings.

“We hope students will give us a few weeks to get the lawn prepared,” Ruesch said. “Then they can use it for their events.” 

With the area completed, rumors about what would be added to the space have been dispelled, and confusion has been cleared.

Heather Calder, a sophomore general education major from Idaho Falls, Idaho, said she heard there would be a creek running through the area; the creek will actually be part of a study mall that is on a list of a long line of projects to be tackled as others are finished and the funds are collected.

There is another benefit to the lawn being finished: less construction.

Construction has been taking place on the campus for a long time—particularly since work on the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons began in Feb. 2011. Rodriguez said dealing with the construction hasn’t been a huge hassle, but the fewer semis and bulldozers there are on the campus, the quieter it will be.

“When they first started it wasn’t a big deal, but when they started knocking down buildings it was noisy,” Rodriguez said.

Ruesch said with many more projects on the agenda, construction will take place on the campus for a long time. Short-term goals include purchasing East Elementary, adding more student housing options, and finding ways to produce more parking spots. 

“The university status will make some big changes,” Ruesch said. “As a university, compared to a college, we will have different needs.”